Linda Almonte, a former employee of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) who is suing the bank for wrongful termination, has just upped the ante: She has now also filed a whistleblower complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The core allegations add context to her lawsuit, and they charge Chase with grotesque and illegal practices involving its credit card debt processes, including robo-signing. Chase denies her claims.

Almonte's allegations are detailed in the Nov. 30 letter sent to the SEC. In the letter, she says:
1. Chase Bank sold to third party debt buyers hundreds of millions of dollars worth of credit card accounts. . .when in fact Chase Bank executives knew that many of those accounts had incorrect and overstated balances.

3. Chase Bank executives routinely destroyed information and communications from consumers rather than incorporate that information into the consumer's credit card file, including bankruptcy notices, powers of attorney, notice of cancellation of auto-pay, proof of payments and letters from debt settlement companies.

4. Chase Bank executives mass-executed thousands of affidavits in support of Chase Banks collection efforts and those Chase Bank executives did not have personal knowledge of the facts set forth in the affidavits.

5. When senior Chase Bank executives were made aware of these systemic problems, senior Chase Bank executives -- rather than remedy the problems -- immediately fired the whistleblower and attempted to cover up these problems.
When I reached Almonte's lawyer, George Pressly, for comment, he was shocked that I had the letter because it was supposed to be confidential. While Pressly was willing to confirm Almonte was a client, beyond that he had no comment. Pressly, who was clearly trying to figure out how to handle the letter's disclosure, said he was suddenly getting a "firestorm" of calls and seemed unprepared for the onslaught. While he has filed many SEC complaints before -- he operates the website http://www.secwhistleblowerprogram.org/, which is how Almonte found him -- her letter is the first one he's filed that went public.

The bank, through spokesman Paul Harwick, says "Chase is aggressively defending itself against the allegations made by this former employee. We have thoroughly researched these allegations and are confident that the sales of these loans were handled properly. We have strong internal controls and processes for managing credit card debt-sales transactions."

The SEC says it never comments on such letters.

In the letter, Almonte's lawyer explains the reason she contacted the SEC: "Her disclosures may bring into question Chase Bank's representations regarding Chase Bank's own securities but may also bear on certain asset-backed securities where the underlying assets are Chase Bank credit card accounts."

Almonte's Evidence

To support her claims, Almonte says she has "a large volume of documents in her possession available for review by the SEC" and offers her first-hand observations as well.

Those direct observations allegedly include witnessing the head of Chase's pre-litigation group "shred" material communications from borrowers, such as "bankruptcy notices, settlement communications, and debt settlement company communications" rather than entering the information into Chase's database. She also claims that senior Chase Bank executives instructed Chase Bank employees remove important information and data from Litigation Accounts because the retention of the information would have resulted in increased computer hardware costs. Both types of record destruction rendered the accounts inaccurate, she says.

Concerning robo-signing, Pressly wrote:
"On numerous occasions, Ms. Almonte witnessed these Affidavit Signers work through at times 3-feet tall stacks of Judgment Affidavits at once during weekly multi-hour long, non-related company meetings. The notaries were not present at these meetings. The Affidavit Signers simply relied on hourly workers to reconcile amounts owed and then treated the actual execution of the affidavits as busy work to be performed while the Affidavit Signers could focus on other matters."
According to Almonte, determining the amounts owed wasn't easy: Chase had a number of "legacy" databases from its various acquisitions that were not well integrated. So, perhaps the executives should have looked more closely at the documents. "Indeed, Ms. Almonte determined that as many as 20% of the Judgment Accounts to be sold failed an internal test to check for accuracy."

Who Is Linda Almonte?

During her time at Chase, Almonte was a "mid-level executive" who "supervised employees across the litigation and post-judgment functions" of the credit card litigation department.

In March, she sued the bank, claiming that she was fired for refusing to participate in the sale of 23,000 credit card accounts Chase had packaged for sale. Almonte says 5,000 of the accounts listed the wrong amount owed, and thousands more had other problems. By going forward with the sale after being informed of the problems, Almonte says, Chase was breaking the law.

Almonte's whistleblower complaint provides big-picture context for the sale she refused to participate in, providing background on how so many credit card accounts could contain flawed data.

Robo-signing and other problems with credit card debt collection aren't new, as David Segal's October article for The New York Times detailed. What is new is that someone in Almonte's position is willing to make such charges publicly.


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Linda Almonte

Contact me for the rest of the SEC filings with Chase Credit Card and the OCC being down played in all o this settlement news. almontex6.la@gmail.com @LindaAlmonte
I am currently working with state and federal regulators, consumers, consumer attorneys and community organizations nationwide to not only as I have done expose intentional fraud against consumers by multiple banks but to not stop until solutions are put into place and the hundreds of billions of dollars in illegally obtained judgments against consumers are vacated. I cannot hold down a normal job and continue this fight. In most cases my father uses his social security and va disability to pay for the travel and has given up his home and life to help support my family. Help me to continue my four year long fight and provide more education and resources to consumers. Phase one of my website went live this week need funding to expand to arm consumers to take on the TBTF's and level the playing field in court rooms. Any assistance is appreciated from funds to airline miles to hotel points for travel to various states. Also, please sign up on my new website to receive regular updates of new information you or a family or friend may need to stop the bank fraud.Here are some links of the countless stories I have worked on with writers to educate and empower people, regulators and courts to stop the fraud and help the people.
I have attached the full government filing and I waived my rights to stay anomonys so the information does not get buried there was never anything in this for me I just refused to commit fraud at the expense of people to keep my job. Here are just some of the main articles on me you will notice a great deal is not public yet especially the connection with Chase owning NCO and SST and running litigation for the other banks. All of this proven up and a major class action with it we just survived the motion to dismiss.

Linda Almonte

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/01/business/01debt.html?pagewanted=all

NY Times Article that I accidently coined the term "robosigning"

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/12/17/chase-sec-whistleblower-complaint-credit-card/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304231204576404052290445530.html


http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml

http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/177_49/chase-credit-cards-collections-occ-probe-linda-almonte-1047437-1.html?pg=5

http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2012/03/13/occ-investigating-jp-morgan-credit-card-collections-report/

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/j-p-morgan-chases-ugly-family-secrets-revealed-20120313

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500395_162-57396150/feds-probe-jpmorgan-chase-credit-card-collections/?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150652312086166_21202916_1

http://www.insidearm.com/opinion/lying-down-with-big-dogs-jpmorgan-chase/

http://moneyland.time.com/2012/03/15/regulator-probes-chase-over-allegations-of-robosigning-in-credit-card-collections/


http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/177_52/jpmorgan-chase-credit-card-collections-1047573-1.html?pg=3

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-03-13/credit-card-debts-got-robo-signers-too

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/opinion/nocera-why-people-hate-the-banks.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jerry-ashton/even-jpmorgan-chase-takes_b_1352870.html


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/07/linda-almonte-jpmorgan-chase-whistleblower_n_1478268.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304177104577314080130077636.html


Talk Show Connect With Mark Kelley on CBC my part starts 33 minutes in http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/1221258968/ID=2233839152

September 27 2013 at 11:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
donovansdanes

Has anyone had any issues with their interest rates being changed from a fixed rate until the balance was paid off, to a revised higher variable rate of interest?

The other thing you need to keep an eye on. Is carefully watch that ANY fixed low interest offers such as balance transfers, cash advances etc. Are documented correctly on your billing statements. A few cc issuers are playing with numbers, and moving amounts of monies from the lower interest rate offer, to the higher interest rate purchases billing category on billing statements. So check your billing statements very carefully.

December 23 2010 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
donovansdanes

So much for a great credit score and on time payments. These credit card issuers/banks could care less about your excellent credit or FICO score, or all those on time payments you've always made. Their gonna screw you out of every cent they can get.

December 23 2010 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wnater1

Chase charges 29% for making ontime payments. I guess at one time while being a credit card holder. They decided that to make more money from my account. I decided that I didn't want to close my account but pay it and be in good terms with them. They either sold the account or decided that 9 % wasn't enough. So they jacked it to 29% . It hasn't gone down, for years. I always make online payments. I guess my money smells better than my wallet. They must think they are pawn stars.

December 22 2010 at 11:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
doughster4

Chase is EVIL

December 21 2010 at 8:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to doughster4's comment
johnskii

DITTO......

December 22 2010 at 7:57 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
pramna

The credit card companies are all doing this. If you feel you have debts that need to be consolidated by a Trusted company call 317-284-6500 . Mystar Financial Solutions can help you get out of debt in an honest , dignified and proven program. Visit www.mystarhelp.com for more information.

December 21 2010 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
agso

I would strongly recommend everyone consider Credit Unions. As a member YOU are part of the organization a really have a voice. In addition they are federally capped at 18% on all loans. Just a thought. fccu.org

December 21 2010 at 6:41 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
k4jlp

DO WHAT I'M DOING...STOP USING THE ONES WITH HIGH INTEREST, LIVE OFF WHAT YOU EARN AND TELL THE BANKS TO SHOVE THEIR CREDIT CARDS, WELL YOU KNOW WHERE..

December 20 2010 at 7:26 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Cindy

Who owns part of the Federal Reserve??? JP Morgan Chase....The Federal Reserve is NOT owned by the Federal Government.. how come banks own and lend us money and not the government lending to themself??? Is this why so much stink was raised when the Federal Government became owners of Student Loans? The borrowers would pay back directly to the Federal Government and not the Federal Reserve. Thomas Jefferson said when we the government do not own our own banks then the people will loose their land and look at what happened....no truer words spoken...

December 20 2010 at 7:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ron

I recently obtained 4.5% home equity loan to pay off my large credit card balanced (Many of which where Chase High Interest Cards). I said enough is enough and I vowed never again to fall into the bear trap banks like Chase set for the public. I figured out that I was paying over $6,000.00 a year in interest alone on my balance. Now my yearly interest is closer to $2500.00 (quite a savings)based on my projected monthly payment of about $2100.00. WSe took our cards and locked them away in the vault, holding on to only a couple which we will pay off IN FULL each month. We decided to stop drinking the banks Kool Aid of high credit lines and slick looking cards one card name I really love (CHASE FREEDOM) (free to pay them 18% a year). The shame herein lies that Banks are borrowing money at nearly ZERO PERCENT and then lend the money out to the public. For borrowers like myself who enjoy a flawless credit history and a strong FICO score we should be able to obtain equally low interest rates. BUT NO... 15-20% is the norm as companies like Chase play a numbers game and of course factor in the worst case scenarios. I believe that good credit should be rewarded with good rates. For a bank to charge 15-20X what they borrow money at is criminal and of course don't be late in paying the crooks because they then can escalate their rates from what I have read to astronomical numbers approaching 50% and higher. Until we the people demand the banking industry straighten up or ship out I think major investigations should begin into the Usurous practices Banks like Chase Engage in. It's time to open up the can of worms. Let the chips fall where they may.

December 20 2010 at 5:00 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply